"Fundas Truck": the truck business that changed the life of Lastenia Albornoz

6 •  July •  2021

Lastenia Albornoz lives in Tiltil and has always had one goal in life: to be a mother present at every step of her children’s lives. Determined to make her dream come true, she left her job and began the path of parenting and entrepreneurship. That is how “Fundas Truck” was born, an enterprise that in June of this year celebrated 12 years of life and that is present in trucks all over Chile, and even crosses borders.

Determined to be a full-time mother, Lastenia Albornoz left behind her steady job as a bank teller in Maipú to stay at home and raise her children. But she knew she could not dedicate herself to motherhood alone, and she has always liked to be constantly doing and learning new things. 

So, Lastenia, with her fourth year of high school, her accounting studies and a bank teller course, found herself in her home in Tiltil, in the Metropolitan Region, with her son Enrique and her husband Alejandro, with the desire to undertake a new project. With that conviction in mind, she began to carry out different activities until one day, together with her husband, they bought a sewing machine, and later an embroidery machine. 

“I didn’t even know how to thread a thread, I had no idea how to use that kind of machine. But I wanted to make the little bags that my son was asked to make in the garden, so as best I could, I got involved and they turned out very nice, with all their details, because I have always been very meticulous, hardworking and dedicated. So much so that I started selling bags to the other parents,” Lastenia says. 

That was her first big business, but it was short-lived, as the sale of the bags was only a success during February and March, when the students were entering school. By that time, the family already had four members, and their second son, Arturo, had arrived. 

“I told my husband that we should sell the machine, because we needed money, we were going through a bad time, but a friend of his told us not to. That I knew how to sew and embroider, that I could make covers for trucks,” says Lastenia, who had never heard of it before and the only contact she had with trucks was because her husband drove one. 

The next day the friend returned with a holster he had. “It was horrible and expensive, and without knowing anything about it, I told Jano that I could make a much nicer one for that money”. And off they went. In their Fito 147 car they went to buy the materials in the commune of Independencia. While Jano took the measurements and cut the fabrics, Lastenia sewed and did the rest of the magic. 

“It wasn’t easy, the first time it took me several days, but I kept going. When we delivered it, they told us it was super cute and original. From then on we didn’t stop”, explains Lastenia. explains Lastenia. 

Eager to continue acquiring more knowledge, the entrepreneur from Tiltil enrolled in classes to learn how to manage her business. She successfully completed her courses and Fundas Truck continued to grow. At the same time, she was told about the Impulso Chileno contest, a program of the Fundación Luksic that seeks to give a boost to entrepreneurs in all regions of the country through three essential components for their growth: financial support, training provided by the Universidad Católica de Chile and mentoring through the Corporación de Simón de Cirene. 

“I got in, looked for information and applied. At one point, I had to send a video and I just thought that my life depended on that video. I was recording from 9:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon. When I got the mail that I was selected, I burst into tears. What excited me the most was that I was going to college , says the owner of Fundas Truck. 

In June 2021, the business will be 12 years old. In all this time, the couple has been improving, today they make their own logos. They have the measurements of more than 70 trucks and make shipments from Arica to Punta Arenas. They even have loyal customers from Argentina. 

The pandemic and its consequence in the delay of the arrival of the containers with the material, meant that Fundas Truck was closed for seven months, since they did not have the fabrics to continue creating all the products they offer: seat and backrest covers, valance, dashboard and floor covers, and bed covers. 

They took advantage of this time to finish the workshop and have a comfortable space to continue working. Imports and suppliers arrived with material, and with that, Lastenia’s schedule is already full again. “We went from having five orders a month to 30. Every time we make a delivery, the customers are happy, we exceed their expectations. We do everything with a lot of dedication, with good materials and everything personalized. For truck drivers this is more than their work tool, it is their home, they love their trucks”, Lastenia says. 

The excited entrepreneur says that thanks to Impulso Chileno they were able to acquire more professional machines, which allowed them to reduce production time. “As the name says, it was really a boost for our business, our family livelihood to grow and I can continue working at home with my children. I know that one day I will go to university, because those who want to excel do not see obstacles, they see dreams. And I will always want to go one step further, for me, for my family,” Lastenia says.